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VanderCook College of Music

Faculty & Staff

I-Hsuan Tsai

Associate Professor, Theory and Piano

Dr. Olivia I-Hsuan Tsai serves as an associate professor at VanderCook College of Music. She is a frequent presenter at conferences of Illinois Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, and College Music Society, featuring music of Chinese and Taiwanese heritage. Her book “Schubert’s Piano Trios” was published by Scholar’s Press in Germany in 2014. Dr. Tsai is appointed in 2017 as guest professor at Lanzhou Northwestern University. She also performs at many colleges and universities, including Roosevelt University and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Coastal Carolina College in NC and Nebraska University in Kearney.

In addition, Dr. Tsai has appeared as a soloist with QingDao Concert Hall Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. She was the staff pianist of the world renowned Aspen Music Festival and Musicorda Music Festival in the US, as well as artist faculty/performer of Oficina Music Festival, Curitiba Music Festival in Brazil and Algarve Music Festival in Portugal.

In 2018, she founded Yang and Olivia Foundation and organized a cultural exchange concert where she performed as part of the diverse and dynamic chamber group Momento Virtuosi, celebrating Qingdao’s Sound of Phoenix Grand Theater grand opening. Since the pandemics, the foundation has helped raise funds for concert venues, individuals in need, and performed for churches and schools via live stream.

Dr. Tsai came to the United States in 1993 not only as a pianist but also a bassoonist. She received her Bachelor of Music degree with high scholastic achievement award in 1996, and Master of Music in both piano and bassoon at Indiana University in Bloomington as Emma E. Claus Scholarship recipient in 1999. She went on to earn her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (UC, CCM) as a recipient of graduate scholarship, where she also served as faculty at CCM’s preparatory department. During her student years, she was the winner of the Buckeye Piano Competition, Graves Piano Competition in the US, and Young Artist Series in Taiwan.

  • AM 111-412 Applied Piano
  • Theory and Musicianship
  • Piano Ensemble

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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